St. Peter's Church

A row of osage orange trees said to have been planted with seeds brought back by Lewis and Clark grows here.

A nickname of Philadelphia is the Quaker City, which is something of an anachronism. Though Penn's Quakers dominated the religious scene of the early city, less than 25% of the city was Quaker at the time Anglican St. Peter's was finished in 1761. The church was built by a combination of members of Christ Church, who were building houses in newly settled Society Hill. The two churches stayed on as one corporation until 1832.

Four of early America's finest architects and craftsmen all contributed at various times to the building of this church that is transporting in its beauty and colonial character. Robert Smith, a member of the Carpenters' Company, built the church in 1758-1761. The tower and spire were added in 1842 by William Strickland and the iron staircases (which are no longer there) were installed in 1846 by Thomas U. Walter (who designed the Capitol Dome in Washington, D.C.). Two wooden angels made by William Rush were brought from Old St. Paul's Church.

  • George Washington worshiped here.
  • The artist Charles Willson Peale is buried here.
  • Chiefs of the seven Iroquois tribes who died during the small pox epidemic of January, 1793, are buried here.
  • A row of osage orange trees said to have been planted with seeds brought back by Lewis and Clark grows here.
  • James Polk's Vice President George Mifflin Dallas is buried here.
  • Benjamin Chew, who owned the mansion Cliveden, the site of the 1777 Battle of Germantown, is buried here.
  • Nicholas Biddle, President of the Second Bank of the United States and foe of Andrew Jackson, is buried here.

  • Location: 313 Pine Street, between S. 3rd and S. 4th Streets (Map)
  • Built: 1758-61
  • Architect: Robert Smith
  • Style: Georgian
  • Commissioned by: Anglican Church
  • Tourism information: Tu-Sa 9am-noon. Knock on rectory door if church is locked. 215-925-5968


Copyright © 1999- by the Independence Hall Association, a nonprofit organization in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, founded in 1942. Publishing electronically as On the Internet since July 4, 1995.